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The devil

This blog is about the nose bump, basal cell carcinoma, I have and the miracles along the way.

Have you ever worked with the devil?  We all have, sometimes we brush it off saying, “oh he’s a little rough around the edges,” or “she doesn’t know how to do her job,” or even, “he’s having a hard day, he’s not really that mean.”  In reality we are making excuses for them and letting the devil come into our workspace.

There have been several in my life and like you and needing to keep my job, I try to avoid them as they spread their lies figuring I would be alright.  However, the devil is there, maybe wearing a new outfit, driving a new car or even smiling as they talk to you.  They are just thinking and planning on how to discredit you and your work.  It sometimes is so sly most people don’t even notice.

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John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The First Miracle

During my last job the devil was around all the time and even came into my office and asked me to leave.  That was the first miracle.  I wasn’t even really shocked.  After all, the devil functions using tricks, schemes and strategies and this latest strategy was designed to make me get upset so I would yell, scream, swear and maybe even storm out of the office.  I didn’t do any of those, I didn’t want to give the devil that much credit.

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1 Peter 5:8  Be careful!  Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.

A month or two prior, I received a reminder postcard in the mail that it was time to make an eye appointment.  Jobless, I called and asked the receptionist if there was any way possible I could get an appointment within 30-days because my health insurance was going to run out.  She had an opening, however it was not with my regular eye guy, it would be with another guy if that was okay.  After asking if, ‘he knew what he was doing?’ and she said yes; I took the appointment.

Eye guys typically don’t talk too much.  At least mine haven’t over the years.  He had me read eye charts, line up dots and concluded that my eyes were healthy and strong.  Then he added, ‘but I’m concerned about the nose bump.’  His gentle kindness was the second miracle.

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Ephesians 4:2  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

He made a couple calls and before I knew it I had an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat guy.  To his credit he didn’t ask a lot of questions like, ‘why didn’t you come in sooner?’  He basically looked it over and said, “I’m pretty sure it’s basal cell carcinoma or skin cancer, I’ll have the nurse schedule a biopsy for next Monday or Tuesday.”

On checking out, the nurse said, “I’ll schedule it for Thursday, that will give the staff time to confirm your insurance and someone will call you on Wednesday for the time of the biopsy.”

They don’t seem to ask you many questions or even if you have any questions, they just seem to know what to do and schedule it.  Which is probably good for me because there are no decisions to make, should I do this, or that, or what was that other option?

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When I got home from the appointment I had a message on my answering machine from the eye guy’s office saying my insurance was invalid.  After going into my insurance account, I saw that my insurance had ended, the day after the devil asked me to leave my job.  he doesn’t stop, he was still trying to steal my Joy.

Google is quite something.  Sometimes I wonder how I functioned before The Google Days.  I looked up what I remembered to be the law saying employees have a 30-day grace period before insurance ends.  Google gave me a million links inside of three-seconds and the top one or two basically said, ‘normally employees do have a 30-day grace period when a job ends … depending on the state.’

I clicked on the state in question and it seems there is no grace period in that state, at least when the devil is involved.  Now I have no insurance, no income and a lot of doctors appointments and surgeries ahead of me.

Did I mention the devil was trying to beat me down from all angles?  I had already signed up for unemployment and had about four or five calls from the Department of Labor.  It seems that the employer did not pay in or skipped me or something because according to one woman that called, she said, ‘you don’t exist.’  She continued saying that my case has several ‘red flags’ on it and there were ‘a lot of staff’ working on this.  She told me not to worry, keep filing my weekly claims and that they would get to the bottom of it.  And, oh yeah, she told me the employer wasn’t answering phone calls.  The devil was still at work trying to kill and destroy by destroying any chance of my receiving unemployment benefits while I was between jobs.

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During the weekend I thought, ‘Obamacare, that’s supposed to kick in, and, supposed to accept pre-existing conditions, and, is supposed to be affordable.’  So I did another Google search and did an online application.  It came up with a few plans that I qualified for, just had to pick one.  The only problem was they were NOT affordable.  At least not for me, unemployed and no source of income.  The plans started around $1200.00 a month, yes, $1200.00 a month, and went up from there.

Another option might have been Medicaid, but Maine didn’t have that part of Obamacare.  The pre-survey for Mainecare put me out after the first two questions.  Do you have a car and own your own home?  I thought everyone got COBRA options when a job ended, but I didn’t even get that.

On Monday someone from the EN&T office called saying since the insurance was invalid, the biopsy for Thursday would be postponed unless I could do self-pay and to plan on anywhere from $13-$26K for this procedure.  I explained that I just found out about the insurance and looked up the Obamacare online.  She said to call her once I picked a plan and got a new insurance card.  It was all pretty much like a foreign language to me.

Instead of getting down and discouraged I continued to pray for all the things one prays for especially in difficult times.  My prayers were usually for all my friends and family members needs; things like healings for their finances, their emotional and mental health, their physical and spiritual healings.  Sometimes I don’t think to ask my friends and family to pray for me, but I did this time.  I sent a few FB messages to friends and called a couple others.  Yes, a couple, I don’t have a lot of friends, well, you know, old classmates that you haven’t seen in years and old co-workers that have moved and you only ‘talk’ by posting a comment here and there on Facebook.  All were very happy and willing to pray for me and my needs.  My friends and family were the next miracle.

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Job 42:10  When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.  In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!

Finally the paperwork for the COBRA came and shocker, it too was very expensive, $1043 and some cents a month.  I couldn’t pay it, not now, still job hunting; so I gave it to the Lord.

Wednesday I called a dear praying cousin asking her for prayers on my situation.  We talked and Praised the Lord for about an hour from 10:00 – 11:00.  I barely hung up the phone when it rang again.  Thinking it was probably a telemarketer, I wasn’t going to answer, but I also knew people might be calling about appointments, unemployment or maybe even a job interview, so I answered.

It was a woman from EN&T calling again saying that the doctor really wants to do the procedure on Thursday so, ‘someone will call later today with the time.’  She continued, “we have pushed through some financial forms for you and all the costs for this procedure on Thursday will be done at no cost to you.”

I was kind of in shock.  I thought, ‘maybe I’m dreaming.’  Did she say all the costs, the $13-26K would be paid?  Maybe this is an answer to prayer.  Did I even hear her right?  All the while I knew it was the Lord answering one of my many prayers, after all, He already had answered them two thousand years ago, why didn’t I remember that?

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Praise the Lord!!  We serve an Awesome God!!  The fourth miracle had come to pass with prayers being answered quicker than I think I had ever experienced. Malachi 3:10  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

Later that day I received about three more calls from the finance department of the hospital.  One was a conference call asking several questions about the job and insurance ending and another doing a phone application for Mainecare.  That woman said someone may call for more information, but what we need is if you get a denial letter.

Now I suppose if you are used to abusing the system, you know all this, but to me, it was all fairly new.  Of course I knew that despite what you hear in the news and read on FB, not everyone has Obamacare.  There are a lot, thousands if not millions, of people without health insurance, so for these women from the hospital to call and tell me they have pushed paperwork through for all my financial costs of my case to be paid, to me it was a miracle, not just another day of the usual paperwork.

The call for the biopsy came and it was scheduled for Thursday at 7:00 a.m.  I arrived and was a little nervous.  The nurse took me in and did blood pressure and the machine made what I thought were strange noises.  It turned out, I was more nervous than I thought because my blood pressure was sky high, 200 over something they didn’t like, so the doctor came in and said he was going to cancel and also wanted his colleague to look at my case.  The second doc was on vacation or something and wouldn’t be back until the following week.

The new appointment was scheduled for the next Thursday and I was to call someone else to confirm.  When I did and said the appointment is with both doctors, the nurse said, ‘well that’s odd.’

Odd is my next miracle.  The new doc came in and looked at the nose bump, I refuse to call it the c-word, and he said, basically and nonchalantly, “we’ll have to take care of this.”  Again, they didn’t seem to ask me many questions or for my input, they just seemed to know what needed to be done.

The first doc did actually ask me if I had any questions, but I didn’t really even know where to begin or what to ask.  I asked a couple, but I don’t really remember what I asked.  As they both talked I seemed to understand them, but again a lot of it was like a foreign language to me.  They used simple words like cut, flap, bridge, hole, rim and stitches that in a normal conversation, or even in my sewing world, I understood, but I had a feeling they had somewhat different meaning in this case, so I expect each word will have its own blog page as the procedure continues.

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Philippians 4:19  And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Sign, Sign Everywhere a Sign

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1 Corinthians 13:13  But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

It seemed like every time I went out, for essential shopping only, I would see more signs of the times.  I wanted to document as much as I could.  Suddenly I thought I was Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Instead of pen and paper, I used a keyboard and an iPhone.  She’d never believe it!!

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The first day the stay healthy at home was in place and people were out shopping.  Yes, I was curious, it was also the same day I did a mask drop off so I drove by Walmart.  I didn’t think to go near the end of the line to get a picture, but the one I got does show that people were practicing social distancing.

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A drive by Walmart the next week first thing Monday morning.  I thought there might be a line, but this day no one was in line outside.  They had a limit of hundred shoppers.  The shopping carts were on their sides, each with the 6’ sign on it.  Only the grocery side doors were being used.  The line began at lawn and garden.

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Plexiglass added at the checkout at a local grocery store.  I was out early to try to avoid any lines.  This smaller store was allowing 15 shoppers at a time.  There were no lines so I got right in and only saw about five shoppers.

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My normal sign of Spring are the robins on my lawn.

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The ice jam on one side of the bridge,

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and the open water on the other side of the bridge.

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Curbside pickup and free delivery for all my lumber and hardware needs.

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Graves Shop & Save

Another local grocery store put ‘One Way’ signs on the floor.

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Graves Shop & Save

And other ‘please wait here’ signs if you are getting too close.

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A few open signs.

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Back at Walmart I noticed this sign for parking reserved for Rx curbside pickup.

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No popcorn at the movie theater.

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These guys still didn’t get the Social Distancing memo!!

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Daily updates.

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

[Verse 1]
And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people
Need not apply”
So I tucked my hair up under my hat
And I went in to ask him why
He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man
I think you’ll do”
So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that
Huh! Me workin’ for you!”
Whoa-oh-oh

[Chorus]
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery
Breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?

[Verse 2]
And the sign said anybody caught trespassing
Would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and I yelled at the house
“Hey! What gives you the right?
To put up a fence to keep me out
Or to keep Mother Nature in
If God was here he’d tell you to your face
Man, you’re some kinda sinner”

[Chorus]
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery
Breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?

{In album version only}

[Bridge]
Now, hey you, mister, can’t you read?
You’ve got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can’t even watch, no, you can’t eat
You ain’t supposed to be here
The sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside
Ugh!

[Verse 3]
And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray”
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.”
Wooo!

[Chorus]
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
{Outro}
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Sign
Sign, sign